Baby boomers put retirement at risk
Written by Scott Buckler   
Thursday, 28 July 2011 10:41

Britain’s housing crisis is forcing the baby boomer generation to risk their financial security in old age to support their family’s housing costs, Shelter has revealed (July 28th)

A YouGov survey for Shelter highlights a generation facing a ‘triple whammy’ of housing pressures: they spend thousands of pounds each year supporting children and elderly parents with housing payments, often on top of their own.

More than four in ten (43 per cent) people aged 50-65 who have children are helping or have helped them to rent or buy a home, spending an average of just under £4,200 in the past year alone.


Of these, one in ten (11 per cent) are also helping or have helped elderly parents with housing or care costs.
43 per cent of those who’ve helped children or parents say they are worried about their ability to pay for their own housing or care costs in retirement as a result.

Shelter’s Chief Executive Campbell Robb said: ‘This research reveals a generation once thought of as the winners in the housing market becoming increasingly worried about their own futures, as they pay the price for this country’s desperate shortage of affordable homes.’

‘With housing support for family members fast becoming the norm for baby boomers, the Bank of Mum and Dad is starting to feel the pinch.

‘We could be facing a situation where supporting ‘Generation Rent’ means hundreds of thousands of people are unable to support themselves in retirement.’

Ros Altmann, Saga Director General said: ‘Saga surveys show that the over 50s are increasingly being called on to help out younger generations, as well as often caring for older relatives or partners.

‘They are portrayed as the lucky generations who benefited from rising house prices but these benefits are being used to help others. Some are borrowing against their house value either with conventional mortgages or equity release in order to assist family members.’

With the Government due to publish a housing strategy this autumn, Shelter is calling for a comprehensive set of solutions to the housing issues faced by all generations.

Mr Robb continued: ‘Britain is in the grip of a structural housing crisis which is not only affecting people now but will have consequences for generations to come.

‘That’s why we need a housing strategy that addresses the chronic shortage of affordable housing for younger people, but also looks at the longer term housing pressures people face later in life.

‘It’s time we saw some real leadership from government and some big and bold solutions to one of the most urgent issues facing this country today.’


Source: Shelter

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Last Updated on Thursday, 28 July 2011 10:43